We were unseen poverty report from News Record, Living among Greensboro’s unseen, Frank McCain and Michael Cottingham, 41 million Americans living in poverty

We were unseen poverty report from News Record, Living among Greensboro’s unseen, Frank McCain and Michael Cottingham, 41 million Americans living in poverty

“And although the slights they felt that day during instances of people who knew them basically looking right past or through them might have momentarily hurt their feelings, they said they felt worse knowing that homeless and needy people are “looked past” every day.

“People don’t admit it, but most people in our community are two to three checks from being in that same position,””…Frank McCain, News Record expose

“Feeding the homeless sounds like you are not the same, that we are not the same community, but if I invite you over and serve you dinner it’s because you are my friend, we are in the same community, we are the same.”…Greensboro’s Amy “The Chicken Lady” Murphy

“He who has two coats, let him give to him who has none. He who has food, let him do likewise.”…Luke 3:11


This morning Zero Hedge reported.

41 Million Americans Are Living In Poverty This Christmas

It is being reported that 41 million people are living in poverty at this moment, and 9 million of them do not receive a single penny of income from anyone.  Once you have been unemployed for long enough, you don’t qualify for unemployment payments any longer, and once you are on the street there is nowhere for other governments programs to send a check to.  I have previously discussed the rising epidemic of homelessness in our nation, but most people don’t want to think about that sort of a thing these days.  Even though New York City has the most homeless since the Great Depression, and even though homelessness in Los Angeles is at an all-time record high, most people want to pretend that everything is just fine.

Read more.
The Greensboro News Record reported Christmas Eve.
“We were unseen”
“Poverty is not unique to the state or to this,

North Carolina’s third-largest city.

It is fueled by the addition of families who have fallen out of the middle class because of layoffs or companies closing or underemployment; of working-class people grappling with loss of benefits or reduced hours or rising prices that have given them less to live on; and of those who can’t find work or have given up on looking for it.

Many of those people and families have ended up in a state of homelessness or near homelessness — either sleeping on the streets, in vehicles or couch-surfing among friends and family. Or struggling to stave off an eviction.

Those who work with the local homeless and needy population say it is difficult for others to fathom the depths of the problem — or even see the people behind the statistics.

Such as the family who found a place at the YWCA’s family shelter after neighbors in an out-of-the-way cul-de-sac noticed a car idling there for hours. When the car’s dome light flipped on, children could be seen moving around inside. The residents called police, who called the shelter.

Also at that shelter was the single dad who had been sleeping on a park bench in a quiet park with his 4-year-old daughter because an old eviction kept him from being able to rent again.

That’s one of the reasons McCain, the vice president of community impact and investment at the United Way of Greater Greensboro, and Cottingham, the vice president of marketing and communications, came up with “GSO Unseen.”

In recent winters the extent of the need for shelter has been so intense that the Interactive Resource Center, a day center for the homeless, has been forced to double as a warming station during brutally cold nights because even those people who try to brave the outdoors in the city’s numerous “tent cities” needed a place to go. The YWCA does the same.

At the same time, the United Way decided to focus more of its resources on a long-term approach to fighting poverty.

McCain was telling a good friend about the work, as a way of moving the whole community forward.

“He said, ‘Well, Franklin, what do you really know about poverty?’ He said you don’t know poverty. I do.”

McCain admits he initially was offended. He had upper-middle-class roots, but growing up he had friends whose families struggled. That was also true in college and in his life as an adult.

“Unless you are blind, you see things,” McCain said. “I went to school with people who had less than they needed — but had I truly experienced it? I said maybe he’s right.”

He said he thought about a story on the nightly news about a woman in Phoenix who had left her young children in the car during a job interview. The woman later was arrested.

“Who could think that’s right?” he said he thought at the time.

But as McCain delved more deeply into the root causes of poverty, it became clearer how she came to that bad decision: The woman didn’t have child care. She took a chance, and it was the wrong one. But the story also shed light for him on the kinds of support low-income people need that other people would assume they had.

“I thought, maybe for me to be more effective in the work that we are doing, maybe I needed to get a better understanding, and he was right,” McCain said.

He looked first at the homeless population.

“I saw them as being those who had the least of all,” McCain said.

He shared his thoughts with Cottingham, who had also grown up in a family that didn’t have any needs there weren’t met. Cottingham, who had worked with needs for Medicaid recipients and people with mental-health issues, substance abuse and developmental disabilities, said he knew McCain was onto something.

“It’s easy to think you understand populations you are serving,” Cottingham said.

But had he ever had to choose between food and heat? No.

The idea was to step into the shoes of someone homeless or nearly homeless.

Cottingham, who grew up in Kernersville and graduated from Mars Hills College, has two children younger than 6. McCain, who grew up in Charlotte and graduated from N.C. A&T, has two children, the youngest of which is in college.

On a Monday morning in November 2016, McCain, dressed in a hoodie and slightly stained pants he wore around the house to do odd jobs, and Cottingham, in a flannel shirt and blue jeans, parked their cars near downtown and mentally closed the doors on their middle class lives.

Stepping into their “characters” would be, invariably, easier than they thought.

Traveling with luggage in the middle of downtown during the day gave them an instant invisibility of sorts.

“We were unseen …,” Cottingham said.

“… Even by people who knew us,” McCain added.

As they navigated downtown, two people — a past and a current board member — walked out of a building on Elm Street and directly in front of them.

“People who know us, work with us …,” McCain said.

“… We had to move out of the way,” Cottingham added.

These people who knew them on a first-name basis quickly moved past without even a glance in their direction.

“I almost said, ‘Hello,’ because it was natural to say,” McCain said.

Instead, McCain and Cottingham just looked at each other and kept walking.

The two found the building on the edge of downtown, on a path familiar to those needing help.

“We knew it was important to start the day off at the IRC,” Cottingham said of the day center for people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.

The IRC provides showers, a laundry, an address for mail that could come from a potential employer or family states away and access to services, such as mental-health management.

McCain said he had known very little about the IRC up to that point.

Developing similar cover stories — each said he was unmarried with a child and girlfriend who would be coming in the near future — they separately walked into the lobby and signed up for an appointment with a case manager. Each took a seat among tables full of people already there.

Nothing seemed unusual to those around them.

When McCain spotted Michelle Kennedy, the IRC’s executive director, walk through the open area, he pulled a newspaper up to his face, fearing she might recognize him.

People in the nonprofit world tend to know him because he is among the people who they talk to about needs.

He wasn’t worried about anyone else.

“I think that people made the assumption that if you are here with us, it’s because you have to be here,” Cottingham said.

Many of the chairs were filled with regulars, but McCain and Cottingham were not the only ones there for the first time. Some others had suitcases or carried bags of clothes and seemingly, the last of their belongings.

“I was sad because there were just so many people,” McCain said. “Women, children and families. Young and old. People with disabilities.”

McCain and Cottingham took in the faces and conversations going on around them, from sports to the challenges of fighting for custody of children.

“Some of the most basic things that they offer there help make the people who use those services feel like they are human,” McCain said of seeing people stop by the IRC to take showers and change clothes.

Among those who rested or waited for appointments, they found people in khakis and button-down shirts, dressed for the lives they hoped for, and others waiting for the shower, to get out of clothes they had slept in.

“There were some people who seemed really into making positive steps, and there were some people who seemed checked out, who seemed tired, worn out,” Cottingham said.

They asked those around the different tables where they could find food and a place to sleep, even a job.

Someone mentioned a temporary agency that had luck with helping the homeless find work, including on a construction project going on downtown.”

I urge you to read more:



More here:




17 responses to “We were unseen poverty report from News Record, Living among Greensboro’s unseen, Frank McCain and Michael Cottingham, 41 million Americans living in poverty

  1. “Soon, a family, with a man, woman and four children appearing to be under the age of 8, pulled in the parking lot in an old car. As the adults stood in the line and kept calling them back, the children sporadically played in a pothole, getting dirtier each time.

    When the car’s horn started blowing for no reason, the woman climbed back in, knowing what to do to silence it.

    Once inside the building, the father started making plates for the children.

    The mother sorted through a box of donated items.

    The encounter had McCain and Cottingham thinking about their four children among them, and what they would do for them.”


  2. CW………
    ……….in June of 2016 I needed some help with a project I was involved with. In wondering where I should look for an honest young man to help as day labor. I decided to explore the local RESCUE MISSION to see if they might have a person who was in need of money. They said they knew of a young man who was going through hell in a handbasket. At first I thought he might be psychologically unfit, but having once suffered a crisis myself I decided to give him a chance. He had no means of transportation, so I drove to the Mission to pick him up. I thought that maybe he hadn’t had any breakfast so I stopped at a Mickey DEE. I told him he could order something to eat if he was hungry. He responded by saying that he was hungry but he wanted to earn the money first. I then said to him this will be an advance upon your earnings for today. He was agreeable to that. We arrived at my house at about 9:00AM so that is where I started his pay. The project involved digging some post holes………I provided a clam shell post hole digger. I wanted the post holes to be 36″ deep. I marked the spot for 6 postholes. It took him about 4 hrs to do the job. Not to bad considering he had never dug a post hole in his life. I then showed him how to use a carpenters level to make the posts plumb. He put each post in the ground, and matched each of them to the chalkline which I had stretched across the post holes. All the posts were well within my expectations for being plumb. I then showed him how to install the three stringers for the fence slats to mount on. Together we went on to finish the 85 foot long privacy fence. He even offered to do the staining.
    While we were working he told me a little about his past. His present state had been a product of a lot of bad things in quick succession, which had brought him to the pinnacle of committing suicide. He had no way to fight back, and ended up nearly ending his life. He went out one night and tried to hang himself from a tree limb which he soon discovered was incapable of supporting his weight. This was a vacant lot with several trees on it. He stood on an old 50 gallon drum threw an old length of rope over the limb, and tied it off on a limb stub close by. He tied a knot in the end of the rope with a loop in it, then when he climbed up onto the barrel it began to tip because the ground was real soft. He realized that he was going to fall so he reached up and grabbed the limb from which he wanted to hang himself. When his weight came upon the limb it broke from the trunk of the tree and he along with the limb fell to the ground. The limb fell on top of him. This was a rotted limb about 5 inches in diameter, and the tree was a RED OAK. A red oak limb of about 5″ in diameter weighs up to about 300 lbs. He had some really bad bruises, a laceration, and a broken rib. He was taken to the ER, then to the Rescue Mission. Interestingly I happened to know of someone who is in the landscaping business, and I telephoned him, and told him about this youngster. He later contacted him at the mission, and like myself used his services as day help. Later that week my friend at the landscaping service, called me and advised that I had found a real worker for him, and that he was going to hire him for full time. Perhaps this will be a new beginning for the youngster. Rightfully I think he deserves a second chance on the MERRY GO ROUND.

  3. oldsailor, God bless.
    I had a similar situation with a young man who lived near me, had a hard life & was on medication.
    I gave him odd jobs to do.
    He has moved to another city but came by recently & gave me a hug.
    He has saved several thousand $ in a few months.
    I watched “A Christmas Carol” a few days ago. We really are supposed to go out in the world & be our brother’s keeper.

  4. Trump Tweets Answer to Resignation Terms: NO DEAL

  5. CW………….
    …………I once read the words “give a man a fish, and you have fed him for the day…………teach the man how to fish and you have fed him for a life time”. I see a great deal of credence in these words.

  6. Amen

  7. Bob Strauss……….
    …………..and today America is in a situation which has never before occurred. We have a totally corrupted,and tyrranous government. This includes all three branches…..more or less. The epi center is the DOJ, and HAS BEEN from the beginning. The epi center includes the FBI,THE CIA, and to an extent the NSA. Our Congress was then corrupted……..along with all of the various agencies of our government. This even includes the upper echelons of our military as well. In reality I have serious doubt that President Trump will ever successfully remove ALL of the BASTARDS who have perpetrated the downfall of America. In truth there is ONLY one way left for this to happen………..It means the creation of an interim government which is given full power by the people to take all, and any actions necessary to bring America back to a Constitutional Republic. The interim government will have full prosecutorial authority, and will have the authority to even dole out sentences (including death) to any and all found guilty of treason. If anyone in the interim government goes outside of their mission they too will join the rest of the perpetrators either in prison or in the graveyard. This is the ONLY WAY that our government can be resurrected………if we fail in this mission then America is already lost. President Trump should have never said NO DEAL, rather he should have said GO TO HELL then follow this verbally with a list of all who are at the top of the investigative list. LET THE HOUSCLEANING BEGIN, AND WITH THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL SYSTEM FULLY TESTED. IT IS TIME FOR AMERICA’S HAGUE TO CONVENE.

  8. “Snowmageddon Dumps Record 60 Inches Of Snow On Erie, PA; “Declaration Of Disaster””


    This global warming is hell.

  9. AND………..
    ………….WITHIN THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT THERE WILL BE NO APPELLATE COURTS. THERE WILL BE ONLY CIRCUIT COURTS, and SUPERIOR COURTS…. STAFFED BY AND OPERATED BY JUDGES UNDER BOND OFTHE INTERIM GOVERNMENT WITH THE FULL SANCTION OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. Outside and nearby the courtrooms will be gallows capable of hanging at least 4 individuals at a time. These gallows need to be in plain sight from the courtroom.

  10. CW……….

  11. Hey…everyone the PB lottery winners of five #’s is where I used to live. And I worked at US Tool and Die. To many winners. That was the worst short term job I ever had!


  12. photo turns up that man snapped in nyc in 1956
    libs furious.

  13. fhl………….
    …………..more like the MANIACS are furious.

  14. fhl………….
    …………in looking at the expressionless face of the nosepicking, female moron…….it is easy to see what is wrong with America. Her face reflects almost a total lack of CHARACTER.

  15. AND NOW……….
    …………….we are hearing the incessant, repetitive, moronic CHANTS of the LIBERAL DEMOCRATS, as they SCREAM THEIR BULLSHI# IMPEACH,IMPEACH,IMPEACH,IMPEACH like broken records……..over and over. I have a newflash for them………..there must be an impeachable offense committed by the POTUS before they can legally pursue the action. Apparently they think that discharging normal presidential actions is an impeachable offense. IF they try to impeach using such a basis they will FAIL, and soon thereafter all will be charged with conspiracy to commit treason………..which could get all of them LIFE in PRISON. This is why it is imperative that the DOJ is cleaned out…….SOON. An attempt to overthrow a legally elected president without formal charges being heard by a GRAND JURY is an icon of the level of insanity which now exists in the Democratic party. It will end at the SCOTUS. President Trump will be backed by the SCOTUS. The DEMOCRATS have the false impression that they are running America………because they are SOOOOOOOOOOO IMPORRRRRRTANT. They will discover the hard way that they are not very important at all…..as they peer out of their LEAVANWORTH CELLS.

  16. AND NOW………
    ……………..Judge Roy Moore has filed an affidavit to block the confirmation of Jones. The SOS of Alabama has stated that he will not honor the attempt to block the confirmation even if ordered by the Alabama Supreme court to do so. This says that the SOS is either a DEMOCRAT, or a Moore hater, and should the Alabama Supreme Court order the injunction the SOS will be obligated by law to obey it…….if he refuses he should be immediately ordered in CONTEMPT OF THE COURT,ARRESTED and prosecuted, after which he should be removed from his office of Secretary of State. It is now time for Roy Moore to file formal charges against each of the accusers. All three will then have to come to court and PROVE that he attacked them in any way. If they refuse each should be subpoenaed. If they still refuse they should be placed in contempt of court which is a felony. Each has chosen a path of deceit, and all three should be rewarded with felony slammer time……….after which they will never again hold meaningful employment. Few people ever hire convicted felons. They chose to be paid liars, now they must themselves PAY THE FIDDLER.

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